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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  June 20, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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"politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, new extremism from tea party congress. just a short time ago, a republican-controlled committee voted for resolution that could soon lead to u.s. attorney general eric holder being held in contempt of congress. all the republicans voted for this. all the democrats voted against it. this vote was unnecessary and it was purely political. earlier the president asserted executive privilege. arguing that private communications between officials in the executive branch cannot be divulged to congress. what is this republican-generated scandal all about? for 14 months attorney general holder and the justice department have responded as
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congressman darrell issa led a partisan series of hearings into fast and furious, a so-called gunwalking program. it allowed guns to be sold to low level criminals in hope they would then lead law enforcement to bigger criminals. it was dreamed up during the bush administration. and ended by attorney general holder. republicans have sold this to the public as a fight over documents. but it's really just politics. and along the way, republicans have been conjuring up all sorts of arguments. like today when they were outraged -- just outraged over gunwalking programs. >> this is a legitimate investigation into an operation, the fast and the furious, that was so flawed that it flew right into the face of common sense. >> our concern here is about gunwalking. >> their concern isn't about
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gunwalking. if it were, they'd be investigating the three gunwalking programs under george w. bush. no. this is about tearing down a man who has turned over thousands of pages of documents who has testified repeatedly before congress and who bent over backwards while the gop conducted its witch hunt. and despite all of this, republicans have the nerve to say they are being accommodating. >> i continue to believe that attorney general eric holder brought this upon himself by refuting to cooperate with congress. >> we've been exceptionally patient. chairman issa has bent over backwards to be accommodating. >> people in my district have wondered why we have been so gracious in pursuing this. >> it's outrageous and democrats called them out again and again and again for their outlandish tactics. >> for the past year you've been holding the attorney general to
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an impossible standard. >> i am horrified that you are going forward with this contempt charge. >> the way that he was treated when he was here testifying before this committee, i must admit, i've never seen anybody treated in that fashion. >> we're going to demean him. we're going to tarnish his reputation. because that's how we get to the president of the united states. >> the prestige of this committee has been diminished and the result should concern us all. >> joining me now is congressman emanuel cleaver of missouri. he wrote a letter condemning chairman issa's vote today. and congresswoman jackie speier. she's on the oversight committee and voted no on the contempt resolution today. thank you both for joining me this evening. >> good to be with you.
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>> mr. cleaver, how can you explain what the republicans did today? >> this is a very sad day. i hope the people around the country realize how sad it is. you know, the deer would first graze on the good fruit and likewise the best of the elected officials are chewed up first. that's what's happening to eric holder. he is being chewed up for something that is just so nonexistent that the people around the country ought to be outraged. and this is partisanship at its most base level. it is an insult, i think, to the body of politics and this nation. >> now, congresswoman speier, you were in the committee. you voted against this contempt citation being sent to the house. let me show you what you said earlier today so you can expound upon it. >> i want to apologize to the
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american people for yet another show of got ya politics in this body. we have received 7,000 documents. we have the a.g. more than willing to negotiate with us for the documents which frankly have nothing to do with the actual activities of atf. >> you were saying what? what were you -- expound upon that. i mean, it was clear what you were saying, but tell us why such passion and why you were directly going after chairman issa. >> the problem is that on the one hand, republicans in the committee want to use fast and furious as the reason for this contempt proceeding. but it has nothing to do with fast and furious. fast and furious should be investigated. we should find out why atf never informed the higher ups in the
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department of justice. neither of the a.g.s were informed. atf has authority that, frankly, is unchecked. and that's what we should be looking at. what is being -- what the a.g. is being held in contempt for by the action taken by the committee, a resolution now going before the full house, is they want to get to access the interoffice memos among those at the department of justice after a letter was sent to senator grassley and before the a.g. decided to rescind that letter when he realized the letter was inaccurate. >> but when you mention about the atf under the bush administration and obama administration never telling the higher ups in the justice department, they're not even asking about that. they're not bringing those people in front of the committee. this is not even the inquiry that you go through in committee, is that not right?
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>> that's correct. in fact, the head of the atf who had been interviewed privately said he never informed any of the higher ups. was he brought before the committee to testify? no. because it did not follow the story line that the republicans wanted to move forward. >> so he admitted that he never told the higher ups, but he was never brought in front of the committee. but you bring in the attorney general under president obama who stopped the fast and furious program and you go through all of these moves and now you've voted to send up a contempt citation. chairman, let me ask you -- let me go back to you a minute. gop leadership just last month -- just last month was saying that a contempt vote would be overreaching. politico reported speaker john boehner of ohio, eric cantor of virginia, and kevin mccarthy of
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carolina had decided to slow representative darrell issa's drive to hold the attorney general in contempt. some within circles would like issa to abandon his plan for committee and a floor vote. what changed, mr. chairman? >> well, politics. it's important for the listeners, reverend, to understand that no attorney general in the history of this republic have been held in contempt of congress. not even john mitchell of watergate fame. it's quaint to say, but the ability of congress to function productively depends on its -- its ability to suppress its most base partisan adventures. and this is one. whenever i think that we look at the president -- look at some kind of attempt to slander him
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and in this case it's through a good and decent man who is being just tarnished because he is doing what any attorney general would do in terms of investigating this. you can throw mud against the wall. even though it will fall to the ground, a stain is there. that's what's going to happen. >> no attorney general, congresswoman speier, has been held in contempt of congress. but look at some of the politics here. the nra even got into this. the nra got in saying that -- and i'm going to read -- the nra has long standing issues withholder. no secret in a letter they wrote to oversight and government reform committee announcing its decision. they announced they were going to score the panel's vote to hold attorney general holder in
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contempt and they have long been a critic of his. they actually sent out letters saying we're going to be monitoring this. we're going to score the vote, the nra. >> it's a classic example. gunwalking as the term is referred to is going on right now in arizona. it's going on right now and we should be putting a stop to it. the only way to put a stop to it is by stopping people from buying ak-47s without even a background check. you can go to a fair and purchase a gun at one of these f gun shows and they don't do a background check to see if you've got a felony record or if you have a mental disability. >> right. >> so there are huge issues we should be addressing but we're not addressing them. the only people who have been held in contempt of congress have been people who refuse to come before congress and testify. >> and that's only about four
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times in history. it's been people that refuse, not people that have given over about 8,000 documents and all of this evidence. and isn't it strange that as you and chairman cleaver said, that here you have no one in the atf being brought before this committee. we're not talking about stopping the ak-47s. clearly not with the nra monitoring. but the one man who stopped the program is the one you're voting to hold in contempt. isn't that strange? well, senator cornyn came out with a statement today that i thought was very interesting. he says -- i'm reading his statement -- the attorney general and now the president have refused to turn over documents to investigators and failed to hold anyone accountable for his department's mishandling of fast and furious. today's vote could have been avoided, but the attorney general and president obama's insistence on stone walling us left us no option. stone walling thousands of
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documents turned over is stone walling? but this is the same senator cornyn, i remind you, let me show you what he said out of his mouth so i dare not misquote him. >> you won't cooperate with legitimate congressional investigation and you won't hold anyone including yourself accountable. your department blocked states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud. you leave me no alternative but to join those who call upon you to resign your office. >> oh. you're stopping us from looking at voter fraud. how did voter fraud get into fast and furious, chairman cleaver? is this a lot of trying to stop other things going on in the justice department under this attorney general? >> that is the most amazing thing i have heard. that is just amazing. and that is transparent as well. it's transparentally political. look, reverend, it is my hope
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and my prayer that i would never use partisanship as a means to defame someone. and that's what's going on here. look, people can see through it. and this is the reason we can't get anything done here in washington. because the number one goal is to defame the other side. and this is a perfect example of it. >> chairman cleaver, congresswoman speier, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you. coming up, what republicans should have been doing instead of wasting time and money on this political witch hunt. don't you remember way back when republicans were promising to focus on jobs? plus, mitt romney. the company he keeps. the boys from bain are still around, and their shared experience is defining willard's policy for the 1%. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. it's very important to understand
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how math and science kind of makes the world work. in high school, i had a physics teacher by the name of mr. davies. he made physics more than theoretical, he made it real for me. we built a guitar, we did things with electronics and mother boards. that's where the interest in engineering came from. so now, as an engineer,
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i have a career that speaks to that passion. thank you, mr. davies.
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once upon a time, republicans said they were going to focus on jobs. obviously that was just a fairy tale. now they're wasting your money in a political witch hunt against the top law enforcement official in america. that's next. if we took the nisa and reimagined nearly everything in it? gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... ...advanced headlights... ...and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪ trouble with a car insurance claim. [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate.
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issa wanted nothing more than to turn fast and furious into a scandal. but all he's done is reveal his own partisanship. democrats on this panel made that point today. >> it shouldn't be a political witch hunt against the attorney general of our country and our president in an election year. >> agent terry's tragic death demands justice and accountability, but this vote has nothing to do with that process. >> i just don't get the point. it just does not make sense to me, and it's the most ridiculous thing i think i've seen in my years of being on this committee. >> so with the republicans' waste of time and their vote today have any lasting effect? joining me now is ryan grimm, washington bureau chief for the "huffington post" and ana marie cox, correspondent for "the
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guardian." thank you both for being here this evening. >> thank you. >> ryan, why do republicans see this vote as a positive move? >> well, i think they were pushed into this by their base. they teased it for awhile. and then, you know, they might have wanted to move on. leadership -- many elements of leadership wanted to move on, but they got their base so fired up that their hand was almost forced on this. and to me, there ought to be a rule in politics and we can decide what the time limit is. but let's say you have one year where you can flog a scandal. you can use all of your partisan media outlets. you can use fox news, the daily caller, go to the spectator. you can flog fast and furious all day long. but if after a year still nobody cares, the rule ought to be you move on. this has been several years they've been trying to push this story. >> but you think it's their tea party, extreme right wing base
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that has pushed them and wouldn't let it go and forced it to this move today? >> right. i don't see how this helps them in the general election. people who are tuning in think congress is doing something. interesting. what are they doing? oh. they're holding the attorney general in contempt over some gun scandal from years ago down by the border? it's so far from what people might expect congress to be doing, that it's just jarring. i mean -- >> about a program that has no longer been continued that he stopped. and they're not dealing with all of the program. just the part for him. and ana, let me say that at the same time, these are the things they're not dealing with. 30 bills up for to dismantle health care law. 29 bills restricting reproductive rights. four votes on light bulbs. these are the rules of distraction. >> it's true.
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this, i think -- actually, i think ryan is right. this is not going to help them in the general election. the only people's jobs that have been affected here is people in the illegal drug industry. every minute they spend grilling holder is another minute they won't try to stop the violence on the border that this program was intended to do something about. that problem still exists. and it's infuriating to those of us who care about the drug war. and personally think maybe should have been handled another way. that that's what they're focusing on. they're focusing on holder. they want to get him out of there and not focusing on the tragedy that got this agent killed. >> and what people don't understand and clearly everybody that has any kind of feelings at all certainly want to deal with this agent being killed and the loss of his life. but these proceedings are not dealing with that at all, they're going after the attorney general and to show how extreme this is, not only has no
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attorney general in history ever been held in contempt, ryan. in fact, after passing all of this evidence in and giving all of these documents in, we don't understand why anyone whether he's the attorney general or not could be held in contempt. there's only been four officials held in contempt of congress in modern history. one an epa administrator, the other harriett meyers. these are people who wouldn't do what congress wanted. >> they're using the word contempt in the everyday sense. this is what happens when a party has genuine contempt for its opposition. it doesn't think its opposition is legitimate, and so this is what it leads to. and it's ironic that congress -- which has what? an 8% or 9% approval would be trying to have contempt for
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anybody. who do they think they are? >> maybe there are ulterior motives if you look behind the base why they don't like attorney general holder. maybe the fact that holder's involved in dealing with blocking voter suppression laws or challenging anti-immigrant laws or refusing to defend the defense of marriage act. i mean, maybe there are some real political reasons the base is so fired up against the attorney general. because they clearly can't think he has handed over documents or hasn't cooperated. and even as late as yesterday said he would even give unprecedented information over to issa. yet that's contemptible and held in contempt? >> whatever this hearing is about. whatever this contempt vote is about, it's not about the justice for agent terry. and it's not about what the atf is actually up to. it is about eric holder. it is about darrell issa who is
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one of the most media savvy congressmen out there. he knows exactly what he's doing with this. i think what he's doing is a little short sided. i don't think this is going to help the republicans in the general election at all. i don't think it puts forward the cause of justice at all. instead it's just grand standing and doesn't have anything to do with the daily lives of people who are going to be making decisions about the people who run this country. >> ana marie cox and ryan grim, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. and let me say this. only four people in modern american history has been held in contempt of congress. compare that noncooperation, their refusal to go in front of congress with the attorney general of the united states who went over and over again to hearings, handed over all kinds of documents, even agreed to give unprecedented evidence to this committee that he clearly was not required to do. why is he being held in contempt? why is the nra involved?
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why are we hearing all kinds of references by senator cornyn about voter fraud? why are we doing this in an election year? i think you and i know why. and i think you and i need to be real clear to everybody that we understand what is really going on in washington. still ahead, how mitt romney learned the wrong lessons from his years at bain. his buddies there helped make him the man he is today. and governor rick scott's all sunshine and smiles over florida's voter purge. but he's hiding a dark truth that voters need to know. that's next. ♪ ♪
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a tennis ball. - you know, both parties agree. our kids can be healthier... the more you know. folks, florida governor rick scott's voter purge is so misguided, the federal government is suing the state to stop it. but he still thinks it's a good idea. and personal experience won't change his mind. in 2006 florida voter rolls listed scott as dead. no, really. he was listed as deceased. but he says that it all worked out just fine. >> but it was fine. they just said that i just got to vote on a provisional ballot. so, i mean, the nice thing about our state when something like that happens, we have a good process. so my vote still counts. if we have a good process, i mean, the process works.
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>> the governor says it's fine to cast a provisional ballot because you can work everything out later. but provisional ballots aren't fine. in the 2008 presidential election, 51% of provisional ballots cast in florida weren't counted. the more than 18,000 people didn't get counted. and if governor scott had his way with the voter purge, a lot of people could be casting provisional ballots. of the 1600 voters targeted in the purge at miami-dade county alone, more than 500 have proven their citizenship. only 14 have been proven as non-citizens. anyone voting illegally should be punished. but voter fraud is not a widespread problem in florida. since 2000 there have been only 178 voter fraud allegations in florida. that's a rate of .0005%.
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welcome back to "politicsnation." the old saying goes, you can tell a lot about a man from the company he keeps. and that's certainly true for willard mitt romney. who could forget this picture of willard and his posse, the old bain gang, back in 1984? but they were his buddies back then, and they're still standing by his side. this man has given romney almost $780,000 for all his political campaigns. this fella served as governor romney's secretary of administration and finance. and this guy is still one of romney's best pals.
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and one of his most trusted political advisers. and who could forget about another bain buddy who told the new york times we should have more inequality in america. he said quote, the wealth concentrated at the top should be twice as large. and having a small elite with vast wealth is good for the poor and the middle class. these are willard's people. the 1%. they help make him what he is today. they help form his world view. and what a bad view that would be for the country. romney supports the paul ryan plan which could devastate the middle class. a new report shows americans making between 50 and $100,000 a year would have to pay almost $4500 more a year in taxes under this ryan plan. willard's 1% buddies, they'd get $331,000 tax breaks.
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make no mistake, these are the people willard really cares about. he tries to tell us he cares about the middle class, but every so often the inconvenient truth pops out of his mouth. and there's no question who he's really looking out for. >> he wants another stimulus. he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, policemen, teachers. it's time to cut back on government and hire more people. >> joining me now who ran the campaign against mitt romney in 1994. and is political analyst also the author of "showdown" about the obama administration. thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> glad to be here. >> bob, let's start with you. a new bloomberg poll raised the question who was more out of touch with average americans.
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overwhelmingly 55% said willard romney was that candidate. what does that say about his past experience in business and his future in this race? >> well, first it says the american voters are pretty smart. that they've seen this guy and the more they see him, the more they get the sense he's out of touch. secondly, this is a guy and the obama campaign, i think, is doing a good job of creating this narrative. of who conducted himself in a certain way at bain. who then went on as governor in massachusetts where his record on job creation was terrible and he outsourced jobs just as he had done at bain. and i think they're going to put this all together into a story that's going to culminate. and the other thing you talked about which is the support of the ryan budget plans. this is the second poison chalice that paul ryan has given to mitt romney. the first was to end medicare as we know it. i hope mitt romney campaigns on this. he won't. he'll try to say he's cutting
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taxes for everyone. the facts say otherwise. >> so i guess he's not the flip-flop i thought he was. he's consistent about this stuff. let me ask you, david. what was also interesting in this poll was 45% say they're better off now than they were in 2009. 36% says they're worse off. that speaks a little differently than i thought and favors the president. >> those are very good numbers for the campaign and the white house. those are the numbers come election day, the president will have a good chance of winning. but the poll is interesting. the poll also says people still disapprove of the president when it comes to his handling of the economy. they like him. they say they're better off now. they're still worried that things will be worse off a year from now. there's a lot of economic insecurity that people are feeling. they feel the president hasn't done as much as they hoped he would do to make the economy
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better, though they recognize it has gotten better. they do blame george w. bush more than the president for the current troubles. so a lot of conflicting sentiments in popular opinion now. the romney campaign, the strategy is to just focus on the anger. get voters venting in november. if they're going to be venting, they're going to be mad, they're going to take it out on the president. the president wants them to make a rational decision between two policies represented by two different candidates. i think romney still has a good fight to be made here and the president still has a long way to go before he has another term. >> yes. and i think you're right. when you look at even the -- when they talk about the vision, 49% prefer president obama's economic vision. only 33%, mitt romney's. bob, let me go back to massachusetts. you ran the campaign ted kennedy ran against mitt romney.
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romney has said over and over again that he won't raise taxes following the orthodoxy of the far right wing. but in a "meet the press" interview in 2007, he admitted that he had posed what he call fees as the governor of massachusetts. now, some of the fees romney proposed and a few he managed to pass as governor was romney wanted a fee on the blind to charge them for a certificate of blindness photo i.d. but the legislature scrapped his proposal. he also proposed a $100 fee for the mentally handicapped to pay for a state medical assessment of their disabilities. this, too, was scrap candida candidate -- scrapped by the legislature. but a fee on volunteer emt's and firefighters fees doubled in that area.
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nurses, increase on fee for applications. fee on hairdressers. increase hairdresser and barbershop licenses. quadruple the fee for a car repairshop license. fee to change your name. more than double the fee to change your name to $150. while he's talking about i won't increase taxes, things that people need to operate and conduct business, many things that would be for small business people and the middle class, he raised them. in some cases quadrupling or doubling. >> well, everything you just mentioned, re reverend, hits th middle class people very hard. at the same time he was creating tax breaks for the people at the top. that's what he would do as president. that's why i think the narrative of the choice the obama campaign is setting out is better. when you look at the bloomberg poll and you ask whose vision
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you prefer on the economy. when you give them a binary choice, he wins that. obama wins that. so what you can't let romney do is just run away from all the issues, run away from all the substantive differences, and run away from bain as he always does. and saying if you're mad, well give me a try. could things really get worse? the answer is yes, they could get a lot worse. and what he wants to do to the middle class and ordinary folks in this country while comforting the comfortable at the top of the income scale is an outrage. and i think the more the obama campaign pushes this -- and they've taken criticism the last couple weeks for this -- the better off they're going to be. >> david, talking about comforting the comfortable, the bottom would see a tax increase of $149 and the top would see a
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tax cut of $725,000. how's that for comfortable? >> this is just the republican playbook. the george w. bush taxes were disproportionately in this fashion. and at some point, americans have to sort of break the deadlock here in washington over this fight between two ways of looking at the government. the republican plan has been basically to say the economy stinks and the reason is that government is bad. and so we have to cut taxes, cut services, and everything's going to go just well. and obama's vision is no tax breaks for those at the top. preserve tax cuts to the middle class and invest in education, infrastructure, you know the whole list. >> yes. >> and it's a fundamental -- i mean, this is what the president -- this is a choice he's tried to set up for a year and a half now -- >> bob and david i have to leave it there. we're out of time.
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thanks for your time tonight. >> sure thing. coming up, some disturbing new signs of how the right wing extremism is creepg [ male announcer ] wouldn't it be cool if someone took mid-sized sedans and broke the mold? if we took our best-selling altima back to its essence, kept its dna, then reimagined nearly everything in it? ♪ gave it greater horsepower... ♪ ...and a lighter and stronger body...
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moment in their shoes. imagine being a parent who cannot feed your children the food they need to grow. it's beneath this body to cut food systems for those who are struggling the most among us. >> that was senator kirsten gillebrand. a vote against the poor. the failed in her fight to save food stamps for more than $4 billion in cuts over the next ten years. folks, this isn't anything new. this is just another example in a long list of attacks on the poor. over in the republican-controlled house, the paul ryan budget calls for $134 billion in cuts to food stamps over ten years. but that's not even the worst of it. paul ryan would devastate programs that would assist
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millions of working class americans, children, students, and the elderly. 62% of his cuts, $3.3 trillion, come from programs for low income americans. including medicaid, medicare, food stamps, welfare, and student aid. and the icing on the cake? it gives $4.3 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country. last year newt gingrich called this sort of thing right wing social engineering. and for once, he was right. joining me now is peter edelman, professor at georgetown university law school. he's the author of the new book "so rich, so poor : why it's so hard to end poverty in america." he also worked under bill clinton but resigned to promote
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the reform law. thank you for joining me tonight, peter. >> i'm so glad to be with you. >> let me ask you this. how do these right wing attacks on the poor affect real people out there in this country? >> they -- totally. we have 46 million people in poverty. we have 103 million people who are in low wage jobs struggling to make ends meet every day every week. because there's so many low wage jobs in this country. we now have 20 million people who have incomes below half the poverty line. food stamps is something that is one of the few things that stands in the way of utter destitution. >> you said that we have 20 million people whose income is less than half the poverty line. i just want to make sure we get that clear. >> i did. and let me add that's below $9,000 for a family of three.
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and we have 6 million people whose only income was from food stamps. that's astonishing. >> now, the average household food stamp or s.n.a.p. assistance is $287. 75% of those households include a child, a disabled person, or someone older than 60. so we're talking about people who are either elderly, disabled, or children in large part that would be affected by these cuts. >> that's absolutely right. and so just thinking on an annual basis, a family of three that has no other income, $6,000, a third of the poverty line. this is the basic safety net we have in this country. particularly after we've essentially destroyed in more than half the country, cash assistance what we called welfare for mothers with children. so mothers and children are hit
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doubly hard, triply hard for someone wanting to cut food stamps and take them away. >> now, i was touched this morning reading in the "huffington post," a post where families are falling through the safety net. brianna butler, a 19-year-old single mother with no one to look at her 10-month-old daughter, when she runs out of money for baby food, she gives her daughter nothing but water or juice for a day or two. she says just to tide her over. i've reached a point -- listen to this -- where i wanted to give my baby away because i just can't do it. i don't know how anyone can hear this and their heart not go out. this young single mother says just to tide my child over, i give her water and i give her juice just to tide her over and think of giving her away.
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is this the kind of country we want tax cuts to the rich while we've got people that are thinking about giving away their children because they just can't make ends meet? >> our democracy is really at stake here. the gaps between the top and the bottom are widening to the point where with so many people who are not really fully included -- not included at all in our society, you have to wonder what kind of a country we're becoming. >> and the other thing, peter, that gets me is at the end of the day, food stamps reduce poverty. the food stamp benefits drop the poverty rate by an annual average of 4.4%. so it's not even about saving money, it reduces poverty and people that get food stamps participate back in the economy. it stimulates the economy. >> henry ford said he wanted to pay his workers more money because they would buy his cars. franklin roosevelt said if we
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help people in the depression, it would help business. it's absolutely true that it's the right thing to do in our self-interest and of course it's morally the right thing to do. the fact is the programs that we have starting with social security keep 40 million people out of poverty every year. so when we hear from people -- politicians that none of these things work, the fact is they work quite well. except that now paul ryan and all of the others want to slash them. >> peter edelman, author of "so rich, so poor" thanks for your time tonight. >> my pleasure. we'll be right back with a disturbing new trend on the right. what used to be extreme is now moving to the mainstream. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is rudy.
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i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
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i want to close tonight by
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talking about how the extreme right is trying to go mainstream. fringe groups are creeping more and more to the center to push their agendas. they're even trying to lobby congress. one of the newest lobbying groups on capitol hill is the self-described white nationalism organization calledan nations. the group said on a lobby quote, any activities that adversely affect the white race. unfortunately, this group is not alone. the southern poverty law center reports a massive rise in the number of extremist groups this election cycle. and in some places, the mainstreaming of the extreme is in full effect. california birther gary kreep was officially elected to the san diego superior court yesterday. kreep worked on lawsuit
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challenging the president's birth certificate. and now he'll judge others in a court of law. even -- institutions aren't safe from the far right. the conservative mag seen national review just hired a contributor with a long history of extremist views. think progress reports. he's called islam an evil religion. he once wrote quote, there's a reason the founding fathers didn't give women or black slaves the right to vote. and he wrote that illegal immigrants were quote, deserving of no rights. this is what's happening on the right. extreme rhetoric is taking over. and the more it's out there, the more it's accepted. bottom line, extremism like this has no place in our public discourse. i make no excuses for extremes on the right or the left.


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